- Paperback: 463 pages
- Publisher: Faber & Faber; First edition & printing edition (December 1, 1986)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0571138497
- ISBN-13: 978-0571138494
- Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,904,039 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Nunca Mas Never Again: A Report Paperback – December 1, 1986
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During the late 70's and early 80's, between 15,000 and 30,000 people were kidnapped, tortured and murdered in the name of "National Security" under the worst military dictatorship in Argentina's history. These people were 99% innocent civilians considered dissidents by the military, paramilitary, and the police.
How can such thing happen? Think of it as a kind of a go-amok witch-hunt. Something akin to the US McCartheism during the 50's, except the coutry is not a democracy, rule of law is virtually non-existent and instead of losing your job for thinking in a certain way, you (and in many cases all your family) lose your life.
In 1983, after democracy was restored in the coutry (following Argentina's rout in the Falklands War) the newly elected democratic government led by Raul Alfonsin appointed a national commission to investigate the mass disappearances.
This book, the published work of that commission, is the authoritative source on the tragic events. It is based on the 50,000 pages of original testimonies of families and survivors given before the commission.
It includes a Prologue by the chair of the commission, Ernesto Sabato and a terrifying yet revealing introduction by Ronald Dworkin.
As proven over and over throughout history, such unbelievable things can happen anywhere and those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it. Those who care should do themselves a favor and read this book so tragedies such as this one, the blackest period in Argentina's history, would never happen again.
The truth is, the government both exaggerated the forces of the few hundred guerillas fighting for a more economically just order, and also in fact planted people in the guerillas to cause havoc and justify further repression. This is from declassified government sources themselves. Open your eyes and you'll see the story of Argentina repeated in different patterns throughout Latin America, usually with US government support. I guess those women and kids and old people they tortured and raped were posing a big threat to "Western Christian morals," as the leaders of Argentina and the previous "dissenting reader" contend.
For anyone interested in the full argentine history and in fact-checking, it is advisable to investigate the political turmoil and terrorist activity from 1970 on, otherwise It just may seem like the military just woke up one day and decided that they were going to overthrow the government and butcher a few thousands out of a whim. (Hint: check "Montoneros", "ERP", "Carceles del Pueblo", "Tucumán", "Triple A")
Contrary to the "kind of a go-amok witch-hunt" commentary. The situation was NOT akin to the US McCartheism during the 50's, since McCarthy's victims did not kidnap, murder and torture civilians, neither did they organize attacks to military complexes, bombings, assasinations of military and policemen and execution of union leaders, nor was there a full-blown guerrilla army active in any US state.
Also be advised that the figure of 30.000 "killed" is disputed, although this is a fact not widely known, (hint: books that challenge the official version haven't been translated into English). In any case, is not a fact. Check the various related human rights and NGO sites for your own conclusions as to the likely figures (hints: don't stop on the front pages: check the lists - don't stop on the word "dissapeared": check how many were not released later).
In the early editions of the book (circa 1985) an attachment was provided listing the "dissapeared". Said listing had repetitions by listing names like "Perez" and "Peres" as different, but had the same ID number. Also not few of the missing people started to appear later, even as minister of the current government or as members of the current supreme court (hint: "Argibay"). The list is no longer provided with the book (at least, not the version in Spanish).
Also to bear in mind is that the argentine congress mandate to the CONADEP was to compile testimonies on violations to the human rights, not to judge or rule, so any conclusions made by the comission is not authoritative.
In conclusion: Worth reading for the good description of the barbarism reached by the military state and an authoritative source on the kind of atrocities committed. For statistical purposes, is not reliable as the incorrect information was hidden, not corrected. For historical purposes, its just a portion of the whole story.